Everett AquaSox: Frogs hold their own against division leading Canadians

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Everett AquaSox Starting Pitcher Andres Torres (Photo Credit: SSU/Kevin Kapanowski)

The Everett AquaSox returned home this past Monday from a road trip that saw them go .500, facing the Vancouver Canadians and the Tri-City Dust Devils.

During the opening series against the Canadians their bats fell asleep and so did the pitching, leading to Vancouver winning the first two games of the series. In game two they were a whopping 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position. The pitching wasn’t strong enough to stop the bats of our neighbors from across the border. However, game three was a different story. The Frogs scored early, the bats came alive once again and pitching was strong from beginning to end. Joseph Rosa continued his hot start at the plate and Brayan Hernandez came up big, including his first home run of the season.

Tri-City was a different story as the Frogs came to play. In game one, they came out strong with an early lead. Tri-City whittled the lead down until they tied it in the 8th. Unfortunately, they scored a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth. The pitching and hitting were there, but in the end the Dust Devils had the mojo to pull out the victory.

In game two, the Frogs came out hopping and held on to win by one run. The pitching and hitting made the right plays at the right time. Several new AquaSox made their debuts after being drafted by the Seattle Mariners, including first round pick Evan White and pitcher Wyatt Mills who finished off the game with his first save.

In the finale, the Frogs battled the Dust Devils and came up with a one run victory in extra innings. Again, the pitching was outstanding, combining to strike out an astonishing 19 Dust Devils. Johnny Slater, a new addition from the MLB draft, hit his second home run in as many days. The Frogs hopped away with their first series win of the season.

This week, the Frogs rolled into Everett riding high on that series win. Their roster was reloaded with 15 new players, mostly picks from the 2017 draft. Michael Suarez took the mound for game one for the Frogs. He took apart a high-powered Vancouver offense that was led by first baseman Kacey Clemens, son of former major leaguer Roger Clemens. Suarez went a strong five innings, giving up a measly 1 run on two hits while striking out 5. The bullpen came in and gave up 1 run over the last 4 innings. The final was 9-2 in favor of the Frogs! Joseph Rosa made the play of the game. Rosa stopped one up the middle behind the bad and threw across his body “Cano-esque” and nailed the runner at first for the last out. Joseph Rosa is someone to watch out for!

SSU Players of the game: Johnny Slater, who hit his 3rd home run in as many games and Joseph Rosa who had 3 hits including his 3rd home run of the season.

Tuesday night was a game for the ages with the teams combining for 28 runs and 32 hits. The Frogs fell behind 11-4 before they mounted their comeback. There were at least six players with two or more hits. The 8th inning produced six runs which gave them a 13-11 lead going into the ninth. But Vancouver was just too hot for the comeback kids. They erupted for 4 runs off our closer David Ellingson, including the game winning 2-run double for Kacy Clemens. Johnny Adams glove was made of gold, as he made several key defensive plays during the game including one that we won’t forget. He dived at one up the middle, scooped it with his glove to Rosa at second and Rosa turned and threw out the runner at first for a 6-4-3 double play.

SSU Players of the game: First baseman Onil Pena, who had several key hits and shortstop Johnny Adams with 3 hits, including a home run.

The series finale had a lot of hype to it. Seattle Mariners 1st round pick Evan White was making his home debut for the Frogs. SP Andres Torres took the mound. Vancouver Canadians star 1B Kacy Clemens hit a two-run home run off Torres, but that was really the only bad pitch he made the entire evening. Torres ended up going 6 1/3 innings, giving up 3 runs on four hits and struck out 6, looking like a future ace. The Frogs slugged 12 hits, including 8 doubles! Third baseman Eugene Helder pounded out three doubles alone. Austin Grebeck hit his first home run for the year and even though he made solid contact, Evan White went 0-2 in his only two plate appearances. Gonzaga alum and Spokane native Wyatt Mills pitched the ninth inning and ended up with his second save of the season. He struck out three (one reached on a WP third strike) and got slugger Kacy Clemens to fly out to end the game. The Frogs won 7-5 and evened their record at 7-7 while winning their 2nd straight series of the season. Wyatt Mills may have established himself as a future big league closer with that performance. He was consistently hitting the strike zone and he was throwing some serious heat, topping out at 95 mph.

SSU Players of the game: Starting pitcher Andres Torres, who showed serious composure and efficiency up on the mound.

Looking ahead, the Frogs hit the road for a 5-game series vs the Hillsboro Hops before returning home on the 4th of July for a 7 game home-stand. They have assembled an incredible collection of talent.

It’s going to be a fun summer watching these young men play. Memorial stadium in Everett is a great venue to come check out a ballgame in Everett. If you haven’t made it out this season, you are missing out. Hope to see all of you there at the next home-stand. Go Frogs!!

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